by Tim Ajax, Director
Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary
Some people monkey around a little, some people monkey around a lot, and then there's Tim. He's a prince among primates, presiding over hundreds of fellow bipeds in the often-brutal Texas outdoors. There's no ape escape for Tim and his crew, but no matter. They love to help macaques, baboons and vervets live out their lives with as much freedom as possible. And like peeling a banana, Tim's blogs take you to the good stuff inside — with a steady supplement of Texas weather updates, of course!
Our first cold front hit in late October and all the monkeys fared well. This is the time of year when their bodies start acclimating to cooler weather and shorter days. Their coats thicken and they become even more interested in fatty foods such as peanuts and sunflower seeds in an effort to lay on some extra insulation.
It seemed a little strange to be placing hay in sleeping quarters and checking heaters while sweating in 90-degree heat under a bright, blue, south Texas sky, but that’s exactly what we did today. The first true cold front of the season is on its way and is due to hit the sanctuary tomorrow. Temperatures are expected to hit the low 40s or upper 30s — a difference of almost 50 degrees from day to night. With the monkeys still in summer mode, this first front will be a little hard on them, so we’re taking some time to make it as easy on them as possible.
Born Free USA’s Lorry Marvin Exchanges Smiles With an ‘Ex-Pet’ Monkey
Come walk in my shoes as I tell another tale from my visit to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.
Upon our arrival on a muggy Sunday afternoon in Dilley, Texas, all I wanted to do was run to the nearest enclosure and start snapping pictures of these captivating monkeys! I stifled my excitement long enough to introduce myself to the very generous and accommodating sanctuary staff, drop my luggage in the pleasantly air-conditioned volunteer trailer, and change into clothing more suitable for the uneven earth and blaring sun. Then it was time!
Born Free USA’s Lorry Marvin Can See the Primates Are in Good Hands
The action continues as I regale you with another tale from my visit to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary!
Because our sanctuary is not open to the public, I want to share a few highlights of the amazing (and backbreaking) work that goes on down there with a series of blogs. And if you want to help the monkeys, consider making a donation to the sanctuary. I can say for sure that every cent goes a long way toward giving our sanctuary residents the best care possible!
Born Free USA’s Lorry Marvin Watches Chatter Explore His New Digs
Being a development associate with Born Free USA involves a lot of time indoors, behind a computer. One of my responsibilities here is to help raise money for our 500 primates living as free as they can be at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary — so I jumped at the chance to get outside (in the hot Texas heat, no less) to help the sanctuary’s director, Tim Ajax, and his crew care for the primates for a week. It was hard work, but so rewarding!
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With ample rainfall over the winter and moderate temperatures for spring we had quite a show here. The diversity of plant life was impressive and the colors were brilliant. Everywhere we looked seas of yellow, orange, purple and red dominated the landscape providing plenty of stimulation for the monkeys and critical habitat for the native species. Even the trees got into the act with fresh-leaved mesquites glowing neon green.
2010 has gotten off to a very cold start. In fact, it has been one of the coldest winters in more than ten years here. For several nights in a row we had temperatures hovering in the teens and while the baboons shivered and the snow monkeys snuggled for warmth, staff worked hard to make sure everyone had plenty of hay and heat for the more sensitive primates. Pipes froze, the ground crackled underfoot, and the small ponds iced over.